Thoughts on well-being, sustainability and those things that constitute a good life beyond consumption.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Where do the children play?

When I drive by strip malls (they seem to pop up like weeds), I often think of Joni Mitchell and the line “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” A few days ago, I was listening to Cat Stevens (I know, a blast from the past), but paid new attention to the lyrics of a song entitled "Where do the Children Play?" I have been thinking about the song since, so today, I looked the lyrics up today, and the message is so very relevant today in a nation where we have nature-deficit disorder.

Below the lyrics, I have included a short photo essay of images from Doha, Qatar (2012). The extent of building going on in the city was staggering -- in a region of the world where the residents have to import essentially all of their food and their source of water is from desalination since there are no surface bodies of water in the entire country. Everything was the color of sand, buildings, pavement, cars...Everyone seemed to drive hugh SUVs -- for reasons that escaped me other than the fact that fuel was cheap.  Each day as I walked through the sand-covered streets (sidewalks were few and far between), I wondered, as did Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf Islam), where the children played.

Where Do The Children Play?
Cat Stevens

Well I think it's fine, building jumbo planes.
Or taking a ride on a cosmic train.
Switch on summer from a slot machine.
Yes, get what you want to if you want, 'cause you can get anything.

I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?

Well you roll on roads over fresh green grass.
For your lorry loads pumping petrol gas.
And you make them long, and you make them tough.
But they just go on and on, and it seems that you can't get off.

Oh, I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?

Well you've cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air.
But will you keep on building higher 'til there's no more room up there?
Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?

I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?


© EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
Tea for the Tillerman album - November, 1970












 


1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete